Are you able to recognise the changes in your mouth?
With awareness of the disease remaining alarmingly low, a simple 45 second check is often all that’s needed to identify anything unusual and be able to then seek professional guidance.
Research has shown that: Early diagnosis transforms our chances of beating mouth cancer from 50 per cent to 90 percent so it is crucial that you know what to look out for and that you do not hesitate in seeking advice from a health professional.
A mouth ulcer that does not heal within two to three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth and unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area, can all be potential signs of mouth cancer so it is important to be aware of any changes occurring inside your mouth.
Quite often it is easier to notice lumps and bumps on the outside of the body or to dismiss a mouth ulcer as benign. Most of us will spend at least a few minutes every day in front of a mirror brushing our teeth so while we’re there it makes sense to have a quick look inside the mouth.
If you keep a lookout for these symptoms then a simple 45 second check really could save your life.
If you notice anything out of the ordinary, please speak to your dentist or a doctor.
Mouth Cancer Action Month takes place throughout November and is organised by the Oral Health Foundation.
With around 7,000 people in Britain diagnosed with mouth cancer last year, the disease is one of the UK’s fastest increasing cancers, with cases rising by a third in the last decade alone.
Survival rates of mouth cancer have not improved in the last 20 years and the oral health charity is concerned that too many are mouth cancers are being diagnosed at a late stage, significantly reducing our chance to beat the disease.
CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE added: “Mouth cancer can appear anywhere in the mouth including the lips, tongue, cheek, throat and gums.”
Mouth cancer can have a devastating effect on a person’s life, impacting on their breathing, eating and speech. Reconstructive surgery could also change their appearance while the experience often has an impact on confidence and self-esteem.
By developing a greater understanding about the early warning signs and symptoms, the lifestyle factors which increase our risk, and recognising where to go if we notice anything unusual inside our mouth, we can detect mouth cancer early. This will not only improve our chances of beating it but will also reduce the amount of invasive surgery needed to treat it.’
During every dental examination,the team at the Dentist at Harrow Dental Centre will do a visual examination for mouth cancer and look for anything that might be a cause for concern. That’s why it is so important to keep regular dental examinations – it’s not just about the health of our teeth and gums – a trip to the dentist could really be a life saver.
To book an appointment with Ira Miller please call 020 84272543 or visit the harrow Dental Centre web site
To find out more information about mouth cancer and Mouth Cancer Action Month, please visit www.mouthcancer.org
ABOUT MOUTH CANCER ACTION MONTH
Every November, the Oral Health Foundation organises and runs Mouth Cancer Action Month, under the message ‘if in doubt, get checked out’. Our campaign has become an influential springboard in educating the public about mouth cancer, highlighting the risks, symptoms and causes of the disease.
The campaign is about taking action and raising awareness, particularly among those groups who are most at risk. We want people to look out for ulcers which do not heal within three weeks, red and white patches in the mouth, and unusual lumps or swellings while encouraging them to regularly visit a dentist to ensure they’re checked for signs of mouth cancer.
By working closely with the dental and health profession and supporting them in their activities to patients and local communities, we continue to increase mouth cancer awareness and save lives through early detection.
Mouth Cancer Action Month is Sponsored by Denplan and also supported by Dentists’ Provident and the Association of Dental Groups.
For further information, please register your details at www.mouthcancer.org.
Fact! Sugar is bad for our teeth. Of course, this comes as no surprise yet sugar-related dental problems are still the most widespread cause of poor oral health and disease. The message is clear and simple though, reducing the amount of sugar which is in our diets will help to reduce the damage it can cause to our teeth, with the added bonus of improving our waistlines along the way.